Thursday, October 04, 2007


Rowan is four months old now, and she's starting to develop a schedule. She isn't rigid, but she often takes a morning nap, and sometimes takes an afternoon nap. She likes to go to bed around the same time and wake up around the same time, playing by herself for a few minutes in her crib every morning and greeting me with a grin and a giggle. And knock on wood, she's sleeping through the night. (She won't tonight, because I said that.) I can go out and do errands, but only after the morning nap, and not every day.

When she was little, we'd often strap her in the carseat, go out for dinner, and she'd be great. We could head out late, enjoy our supper, and she'd sleep away, charming the waiters and other restaurant patrons with how good she was.

Dr. B was determined that our child would be different. She'd grow up with our lifestyle, and would naturally take to it. She wouldn't be like other kids, and force her parents to do her bidding. She'd eat artichoke hearts and camembert sandwiches, eschew chicken nuggets and mac'n'cheese, and would behave herself perfectly well in the most trendy/snotty/fancy/of-the-moment restaurants while we leisurely enjoyed a glass of wine and rosemary goat cheese wontons with thai curry lingonberry chutney*.

Last night, Dr. B got home rather late from work. He had a very important phone call with a very important group about a new project that he and a colleague want to try that day, and he had been very nervous about it. The call went well, and he wanted to celebrate. Since he knew I had run errands during the day and taken Lucy for a long walk, he offered to take me out to dinner. But, by the time he got home and we were ready to go, it was 8 PM. And Rowan wasn't having any of it.

We diapered her, put her in her jammies, and strapped her into the car seat. That's when the trouble started. Before we could snap the buckles, she was wailing. Dr. B was not about to be told what to do by a 17 week old baby. He grabbed the car seat, and walked out the door. As I picked up the diaper bag and began to follow him, the tears started. Dr. B stomped to the gate, and then stomped back when I asked him to lock the door to the house. By the time we clicked her into the base in the car, she was going full force. Bloody murder screaming.

Determined, Dr. B set his jaw and put the car in gear. "I'll feed her at the restaurant," I offered. "The place is close, right?"

More screaming from the back seat.

"I'm sorry, Honey. It's just late. She wants to be home, going to bed."

"She can sleep in her car seat. She'll be fine," he said.

"You tell her that."

We stopped at the end of the drive, and Dr. B sighed. We listened to her scream for a few minutes more, and I turned to look at him. "We can go, honey," I said. "There aren't any cars coming."

He sighed deeply. "I'll take you back, and go get the pizza and bring it home," he said, angry but defeated.

As soon as Rowan's car seat was picked up, she stopped crying. As I unstrapped her, she sighed with relief. She ate slowly as if savoring her meal, and muttered not a peep when I layed her down in her crib, even though her mobile was out of batteries and she had to make due with just the womb bear and a soothie.

Dr. B came home just as I walked back down the stairs, loaded down with spicy stuffed banana peppers, BBQ chicken pizza, wine, and yogurt and coffee (the things I had forgotten at the store.)

"You were right," he said as he poured me a glass of wine. "I pushed it and it didn't work, it wasn't fair. To either of you."

"You can reason with just about anyone," I answered, "except a 4 month old baby. There's no messing with her."

Bring on the chicken nuggets.

*I made this up. Sounds gross, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

I love this post...

It's true that take-out food and YouTube is definitely a date for Tibo and I sometimes. But we are homebodies anyway...

Babies are allowed to have you wrapped around their least for a little while :)

PutYourFlareOn said...

It doesn't seem like that big of a defeat to me, I mean she went down without a fight and you and Jeff got a nice dinner together albeit pizza and stuffed peppers.

These days this is what it is at our house too. But it won't last forever and sometimes she will indulge you, give her some time. Julien and I often so early dinners in the neighborhood. Often we are the first ones in the restaurant and leaving by the time the regular dinner crowd comes. It suites us now.

Maybe this winter she will be ready, when we come to visit we'll test her. See how the kids do. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome to parenthood.....funny how it ceases to be about oneself and more about that precious little person... :-)

mage2001 said...

heehheehee...your comment about when she was little... hahaha.
Mrs. B - Rowan is still little. she's just not a brand new newborn. hahaha... silly goose.
she's just figuring things out - bit by fit. :)

The Bold Soul said...

You know I've read about people who have young babies they can take out to restaurants at all hours, but I have yet to actually meet any in person. I think it's an urban parenting myth. I don't recall my sister (2 kids) or best friend (4 kids) ever going out to dinner with their kids at any "adult" place (i.e. no chicken nuggets on the menu) when their kids were under the age of 2 or 3. If they DID get out for an evening meal, they got a sitter (usually ME).

Having said that, I have a very delightful memory of taking my nephew out for his first Chinese food, in a restaurant, at the age of 3 and being so proud of how well behaved he was, and he ate some of my shrimp (his first time trying shrimp) and broccoli. I could take that kid anyplace. He was a hell-raiser at home but out in public, he was fantastic.

So just bide your time. It will get better and one day, before you know it, the three of you will be able to sit in a restaurant with cloth tablecloths and napkins and eat like civilized people. Only without that chutney concoction you mentioned. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I remember these days well. And now? Well, we consider ourselves lucky if the teens will be seen in a restaurant with us at all. Luckily the youngest will still be seen in public with us. :) Enjoy her even when she's screaming. Your cuz in ND

Anonymous said...

HEE! It was when my son was 4 months old that we endured the Valentine's Day Dinner of Doom and decided we would not go out for dinner again until he was much, much older. He did grow up...and by the way, he'll eat anything, including goat cheese, so don't give up on that part. We never ask him if he'd like some, we just put it in front of him and he eats it.

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